Urinary Cadmium Excretion Is Associated With Increased Synthesis of Cortico- and Sex Steroids in a Population Study.

Bochud, Murielle; Jenny-Burri, Judith; Pruijm, Menno; Ponte, Belen; Guessous, Idris; Ehret, Georg; Petrovic, Dusan; Dudler, Vincent; Haldimann, Max; Escher, Geneviève; Dick, Bernhard; Mohaupt, Markus; Paccaud, Fred; Burnier, Michel; Péchère-Bertschi, Antoinette; Martin, Pierre-Yves; Vogt, Bruno; Ackermann, Daniel (2018). Urinary Cadmium Excretion Is Associated With Increased Synthesis of Cortico- and Sex Steroids in a Population Study. Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 103(2), pp. 748-758. Endocrine Society 10.1210/jc.2017-01540

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Context Urinary cadmium (Cd) excretion is associated with cancer and cardiovascular morbidity. A potential mechanism could be disturbance of steroidogenesis in gonads and adrenal glands. Objective We tested whether urinary excretion of Cd is correlated with that of cortico- and sex steroid metabolites in the general adult population. Setting The Swiss Kidney Project on Genes in Hypertension is a multicentric, family-based population study. Measures Urinary excretions of steroid hormone metabolites and Cd were measured with separate day and night collections. Associations were analyzed by mixed linear models. Results Urinary Cd and testosterone excretions in men were significantly correlated (respective day and night β values [standard error (SE)], 1.378 [0.242], P < 0.0005; and 1.440 [0.333], P < 0.0005), but not in women [0.333(0.257), P = 0.2; and 0.674 (0.361), P = 0.06]. Urinary Cd and cortisol excretions were positively associated in both sexes [day: β = 0.475 (SE, 0.157), P = 0.0025, and 0.877 (SE, 0.194), P < 0.0005, respectively; night: β = 0.875 (SE, 0.253), P < 0.0005 and 1.183 (SE, 0.277), P = 0.00002, respectively]. Cd excretion was correlated with mineralocorticoid metabolites excretion, except tetrahydroaldosterone, in both sexes (P < 0.01). There was an independent effect of Cd on sex hormone and corticosteroid synthesis and an interdependent effect on gluco- and mineralcorticoid production. Conclusion Our findings provide evidence for a global stimulating effect on steroid synthesis already at low-dose Cd exposure. These findings might explain the association of Cd with diseases such as steroid-sensitive cancers or metabolic disorders.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Dermatology, Urology, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Osteoporosis (DURN) > Clinic of Nephrology and Hypertension

UniBE Contributor:

Escher, Geneviève; Dick, Bernhard; Mohaupt, Markus; Vogt, Bruno and Ackermann, Daniel


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Endocrine Society




Daniel Ackermann

Date Deposited:

04 Feb 2019 16:47

Last Modified:

04 Feb 2019 16:47

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